Grandma’s Sicilian Chicken Soup

Grandma’s Sicilian Chicken Soup 

When I was a little girl, my mother and my brothers went to my maternal grandparents’ farm every Sunday. My aunts, uncles and cousins who lived in Auburn were there too.  The kitchen was always loud with all of the adults talking, like Sicilians talk, LOUD!  Add to that my grandmother being not quite totally deaf they spoke all the louder for her to hear the conversations.  The conversations were spoken half in Sicilian and half in English.  I understood the Sicilian language because my paternal grandparents and aunt lived upstairs from us and I heard the language every day.

When my kids were little, at my parents’ house both Sicilian and English were spoken.  My kids would be listening to a story in English and all of a sudden it changed to Sicilian.  I could still understand it but my kids and husband did not!  They only got half of the story! I asked my daughter about it when she was grown up and her response was that she was used to it and just never got the end of some stories.

Back to Sundays at the farm!  My grandmother made a huge pot of soup every Sunday always with homemade noodles.  It was Grandma’s Sicilian Chicken Soup!  She always sent some home with us in a large canning jar.  It was so delicious but when she made it it was that much more because of her homemade noodles! I don’t ever remember having anything but homemade noodles at my grandparents’ house!

Grandma’s Sicilian Chicken Soup was the best!  Anything my grandmother made was delicious!  My mother learned to cook from her and I learned from my mother.  My children learned to cook from me, not everything but most things!  If they didn’t make it, at least they knew what everything was because I made it all!  They knew what foods looked like and how they smelled and tasted.  When they got older and wanted to make something, all they really needed was a list of ingredients because they knew the basics just like I did.

I find it interesting that the only ones who presently cook my grandmother’s and my mother’s recipes is me!

Grandma’s Sicilian Chicken Soup with Little Meatballs

Serves 6


5 – 6 pounds chicken thighs or legs with skin; or some of both
2 stalks of celery cut into bite size pieces
½ c. carrots cut into bite size pieces
1 cooking onion (about the size of a baseball) peeled and cut into quarters
¼  c. diced tomatoes
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 – 2 c. of little meatballs made from the meatball recipe formed into dime-sized meatballs
12 oz. fine egg noodles
Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese

*** If you do not have the meatball mix in your freezer for the mini soup meatballs make it now.  The meatball recipe is one of my first blog recipes. Use about a quarter of it for the soup meatballs. With the rest, make large meatballs and brown them in the oven. Cool them before putting them in your freezer so they will be ready when you make sauce.  They will be ready and waiting.

If you want, you can freeze about a cup full of meatball mix and freeze it for next time you make soup.  I make the mini soup meatballs and freeze them on a cookie sheet.  When they are frozen I put them in a freezer bag and save them for next time I make soup!

Serve with:

Salad of your choice
Loaf of Italian bread


Place the chicken in a colander and rinse with cold water.  Cut off the fat.  Put the chicken in a large soup pan and cover with water.  Cover pan. Bring to a boil.  Skim off the foam that floats on the top of the water.

Add the onion, celery, carrots and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil again. Cover pan with lid tilted leaving a small opening for steam to escape.  Lower heat. Simmer for 1 hour.

Add salt.  Add the little meatballs to the soup. Add one more cup of hot water.  Simmer another half hour.

Remove the chicken pieces from the soup and place in a separate bowl to serve.

Cook the egg noodles in a separate pan following directions on the package.  Drain well.  Add to soup pan and stir.


***Note:  Make the mini meatballs from the meat you prepared when you made meatballs.  I put about 1 cup in a freezer bag and freeze until I am ready to make soup.  Before I start my soup I take the meatball meat out of the freezer and thaw.  Then I form small meatballs and drop them into the soup to cook. The beef, pork, cheese, seasoned bread crumbs, salt, pepper, garlic from the meatballs adds additional flavor to the soup.   

If your family likes the little meatballs in the soup you can make more next time and add as many as you like. 



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